Review & Install Video
I'm Ryan from extremeterrain.com, and this is my review of the Rough Country extended front driveshaft fitting all 2007 and up JKs. Now, there are a couple different versions of this driveshaft, depending on what year your JK is because Jeep did move the transmission and therefore the transfer case a little bit when they changed from the 3.8-liter to the 3.6-liter engine, so make sure you get the right one for your Jeep. Today we're gonna talk through the installation of this driveshaft, which is a simple one out of three wrench installation. We're also going to talk about the construction and a few of the features of this driveshaft.
This driveshaft is for those of you who have three-and-a-half to six inches of lift on your JK and are looking for a longer front driveshaft so you're not going to max out the driveshaft length at full droop off-road and also want a stronger driveshaft so you're not going to have to worry about driveshaft breakage when you're wheeling hard with a big, heavy wheel tire package. Now, this driveshaft is significantly less expensive than some of the other ones on the market, and in my opinion, part of that is going to come from build quality.
However, if you're not wheeling that hard, you're not as concerned about tearing up your driveshaft on the trail, you're just looking for one that's going to be longer so you're not maxing out at length, I don't think that there's anything wrong with this. If you are running 37's or 40's of big, heavy wheel tire package and you really do some aggressive wheeling, then you probably want to look at one of those top quality, top price driveshafts out there with a few features that will make it a little bit stronger.
As far as construction goes, again, this is going to be longer than your factory driveshaft to allow for that lift. This is also a constant velocity double Cardan driveshaft. What that means, is right up here in the joint, you're going to have two different U-joints and a centering ball which make this very, very strong and able to transfer a lot of power and a lot of torque without wearing out or breaking down. The driveshaft comes with greaseable U-joints, also with a greaseable centering ball, and you will want to make sure that you grease that centering ball as often as you grease all of the U-joints. That's an area that's often overlooked and will certainly cause the driveshaft to fail if you don't keep grease on it.
Now, the centering ball is going to be a little bit different than your traditional Zerk fitting that your grease gun is going to attach right on to. You are going to have to get a plastic pointy-type end for your grease gun in order to get onto that grease fitting, and push down the ball bearing and fill the centering ball with grease. That's not something that is included in this kit. It is something that you're gonna have to purchase separately. It's very inexpensive but it is something you're gonna want to make sure you have on hand so when you're doing your oil changes or when you're torquing down your tires, you're getting under there and you're greasing your new driveshaft.
This also does come with two yokes. Now, the factory setup has a flange on both your axle and on your transfer case. This switches to a yokes style, and there are a couple benefits to that, one being strength, but the other being that this is a nice short setup allowing you to have additional length from your driveshaft which will flatten out the driveshaft angles even further.
As far as the installation goes, again, I'm giving this a very simple one out of three wrenches. All you're going to need to do is climb underneath your Jeep and remove your factory front driveshaft. There are quite a few bolts on the flanges that you'll need to remove in order to do that. Once that front driveshaft is removed, you'll need a couple of big sockets in order to remove the flange from the transfer case and from the axle. Again, those are going to be sockets that are over one inch in size. You're probably not going to have them on hand already, so you are going to want to pick those up and you're probably going to also need a nice, long breaker bar in order to break those loose. They are generally torqued down. They might even have a little bit of [inaudible 00:03:59] on them.
Once you remove these nuts, hang on to them because you'll use them to reinstall your new yokes. Once your new yokes are in place, you'll install your new driveshaft with all of the included hardware. Now, again, you are going to want to make sure that everything is greased. All these new joints and the centering ball are all greased right out of the factory, but you'll want to double-check them to make sure they do have grease on them. Also, make sure that all of your snap rings on the U-joints are in place.
The whole installation process for this shouldn't take you more than an hour to get done, and you won't really need any specialty tools, other than those larger sockets that you may not already have on hand. Now, depending on the state of your Jeep, if you're doing this when you're doing a lift kit and you don't have any of the tires on the ground, it is going to be a good idea to put the Jeep into four-wheel drive and set your emergency brake, as well as leaving it in park, is going to make breaking loose the flange and retightening your new yoke on the transfer case output shaft a lot easier. It's not going to allow that shaft to spin, so you'll be able to get to the proper torque spec on your new yokes. All the torque specs are listed in the instructions for this driveshaft, so you'll be able to get it installed with no problem.
As I mentioned, this is going to be significantly less expensive than some of the other versions of an extended driveshaft on the market. For instance, the Rugged Ridge version of the extended front driveshaft is going to be almost twice the cost of this one. And I'm sure there are quite a few different reasons for that, but one of them has to be quality, in my opinion. So, again, if you're looking for a longer driveshaft so that you're not going to max out your driveshaft length when you're at max flex off-road, I think that this one is going to be just fine. Keep it greased. You're not gonna have any problems as long as you're running a 33, a 35-inch tire and you're not doing any really hardcore off-roading. However, if you are going to be doing some serious wheeling with 37's, or 38's, or maybe even a bigger tire, then you might want to invest a little bit more money into a driveshaft that has additional features, making it even stronger.
So if you have three-and-a-half to six inches of lift on your JK and you're looking for a longer front driveshaft so you're not going to max out driveshaft length at full droop on the trail, this is going to be a great option that will save you some money over some of the other options on the market. So that's my review of the Rough Country extended front driveshaft fitting all 2007 and up JKs that you can find right here at extremeterrain.com.